WASHINGTON — The Washington Commanders announced a new partnership with iHeartMedia Tuesday to be the team’s exclusive radio broadcast partner, giving fans the opportunity to listen to game day details live on the radio or free mobile app.
This comes after Audacy, an audio and entertainment company announced in March that they will no longer be broadcasting the Commander's games due to editorial and business disagreements with the team.
Host Kevin Sheehan broke the announcement on behalf of Audacy stating it was important "to provide honest, objective information and analysis about the [Commanders] on our talk shows."
However, the Commanders disagree with Sheehan's portrayal of Audacy making the decision to end the partnership. A team source told WUSA9 that Audacy's comments "misrepresent" the process through which Washington decided to seek a new radio partner.
Beginning in the 2022 season, live game day broadcasts will run on iHeartMedia’s BIG 100.3 FM and get featured on the station’s website and on the app. iHeartMedia describes this as its free all-in-one digital music, podcasting and live streaming radio service.
"We are excited to team up with iHeartMedia as we enter our inaugural season as the Washington Commanders,” stated Jason Wright, President of the Washington Commanders. “After careful consideration and a thorough evaluation process, we chose iHeartMedia to join our growing list of strategic partners because of their shared commitment, creative approach and aggressive plan for elevating the fan experience through their prioritization of our football games, content and events across their many radio and online platforms."
Through the app, fans will also be able to access archived radio broadcasts of the team’s games anytime.
“This new partnership will expand the team’s reach across the DMV, giving more fans the ability to listen and engage with the Washington Commanders on a daily basis and helping to grow the team’s fan base in the region,” the radio company said.
The 2022 NFL season will begin on Sept. 8, 2022.
While the Commanders assert that this was their decision to part ways with the flagship radio station, three other companies have ended their own relationships with the team.
In March, Anheuser-Busch cut ties with the Commanders, announcing it decided to end its sponsorship agreement with the team. The brewing company was one of the Commanders' biggest corporate sponsors. Anheuser-Busch is the official beer sponsor of the National Football League.
“We’re exploring options in the alcohol category and looking for a strategic partner that will join us in the next era of Washington Football, as we play our first season as the Washington Commanders and prepare to develop a new venue,” the team wrote in a statement to WUSA9. "The team believes there is tremendous upside in the alcohol sponsorship category for the Commanders.”
WUSA9 also reached out to Anheuser-Busch for comment regarding why they decided to cut ties and a spokesperson emailed the following statement:
“Anheuser-Busch has decided not to renew its sponsorship of the Washington Commanders team at this time. We remain fully committed to Washington football fans, and we look forward to continuing our long-term partnership with the NFL and our other 26 team partners to create meaningful experiences and connections for fans across the country.”
Anheuser-Busch endorses many NFL players, including Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke.
In February, a Manassas-based medical billing compliance company, Medliminal, also cut ties with the Commanders.
"Medliminal will not be continuing its partnership with the Washington Commanders for the 2022-2023 season and indefinitely going forward," the company wrote in an email, obtained by WUSA9. "We are sincerely disappointed in the Commanders handling of both the facts and allegations surrounding their organization."
The company also removed the Washington Commanders logo from its website.
Last April, Inova said they would no longer have a partnership with the Commanders to "allow Inova's orthopedic leadership team to focus on business and growth opportunities." In 2016, Inova agreed to a 10-year partnership with the team, which included the rights to having their name on the Commanders practice facility in Ashburn, Virginia.